Conspiracy theories can’t explain stock falls

Source:Global Times Published: 2015-7-3 0:53:01

Urgent measures by the China Securities Regulatory Commission late Wednesday failed to prevent another stock market plunge as the Shanghai Composite Index tumbled by 3.48 percent on Thursday. A widely circulated article called the situation a financial war and said that overseas investors who are short selling Chinese stocks are experienced, powerful and well-prepared, and they will not pull back despite government intervention. The piece compared the current stock market to Hong Kong's battle against speculators in 1998.

Is the plunge in the Chinese stock market caused by a hostile attack by foreign investors? This shouldn't be the primary perspective when viewing the volatile stocks. The Chinese mainland stock market is neither Hong Kong shares nor the Thai stock exchange which can be easily manipulated by financial tycoons. Its rises and falls are a result of the effects of multiple forces and we should stand on this basis.

The plunge stems from the stock market's earlier sharp bull run. As the risks pile up, there may be one risk factor too far that led to the slump.

Stock markets are rife with speculative behavior that is not always legal. Stock market regulation aims to crack down on this illegal behavior so that all investors share equal risks and chances. Regulatory measures are needed to set boundaries for legal speculative behavior, but this can hardly be achieved in a precise way.

Foreign capital has only a small part of the Chinese stock market. Some of them come into China through covert channels, but the role they can play is limited. It's uncertain whether these investors were the last straw, but they are definitely not a factor that can control the Chinese stock market. Not falling for conspiracy theories can help us analyze objectively why there was a stock market slump. Even if we can't figure it out now, we can at least learn its profound complexity.

As China opens up its financial domain, the stock market will be the frontline. Risks from overseas investors will gradually increase. These investors will use their abundant experience to engage in arbitrage on the Chinese stock market. This is the price we have to pay. However, China's financial institutions will soon grow stronger. Large-scale short selling by foreign investors in the Chinese stock market has not appeared and is an unlikely scenario.

The Chinese stock market must stay vigilant to external capital, nonetheless with some restraint. Its core problem lies inside as defects in the system enable speculation instead of normal investment to dominate the stock market sometimes. The truth is saddening.

Posted in: Editorial

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